What We Believe
WHAT IS A MAJOR?
A “major” is a doctrine which we understand to be essential to salvation. Some examples of majors include salvation being found in Jesus Christ alone, the inerrancy of scripture in the original manuscripts, and the trinitarian nature of God. These are “line in the sand” issues on which we as the Church are unified.
WHAT IS A MINOR?
A “minor” is a doctrine that we do not believe to be essential to salvation. Some examples of minors include Calvinism versus Arminianism (predestination versus freewill), the formula of baptism (see below for an explanation of baptism), and the instrumentation of worship. Whereas we as the Church are unified on the majors, not all Christians need to be unified on the minors. In other words, we can disagree on the minors and still worship and serve together in unity (Titus 3:5-9).
WHY THE DIFFERENCE?
God instructs us not to waste time quarreling over every little issue (2 Timothy 2:14). While certain doctrines are worth pausing on, reflecting over, and discussing, others are merely distractions from the mission of Christ.
The Bible is God’s unique revelation to people. It is the inspired Word of God providing an authoritative and trustworthy rule of faith and practice.
There is one God, eternally existent as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Jesus Christ is God’s Son, born of the Virgin Mary, lived a sinless life, willingly took upon Himself all of our sins, died and rose again bodily, and is at the right hand of the Father. He will return to consummate history and fulfill the eternal plan of God.
All people are created in God’s image having innate value and dignity but alienated from God by sin and justly subject to God’s wrath.
Salvation cannot be earned through personal goodness or human effort. It is a gift that must be received by humble repentance and faith in Christ and His finished work on the cross.
We believe in the indwelling & empowering of the Holy Spirit (the fruit and supernatural gifts). The indwelling presence and transforming power of the Holy Spirit gives to all believers a new life and a new calling to obedient service.
All Believers are members of the Body of Christ, the one true Church universal.
Faith without works is dead (James 2:14-17). We are not saved by our works, but we are not saved away from our works. Rather, we are saved by the power of Christ’s Gospel to do good works. The Bible teaches that faith and works are married as evidence of genuine salvation (Matthew 7:15-20).
The second coming of Christ. There are many different ideas concerning the specifics of how Christ will return including pre-tribulation rapture, mid-tribulation, and post-tribulation. For us, arguing the details of Christ’s return is about as pointless as arguing about the exact color and physics of a set of stairs- it doesn’t matter exactly how they work, all we know is that they’ll get us where we need to go if we do our part.
Many churches argue about which one is the best. Although there are versions and translations we recommend, like the CSB and the ESV, we believe almost any version you can read and actually understand is the best choice.
Eternal Security vs. Conditional Security
It has been our experience that in American Christianity especially, there is much confusion on the doctrine of eternal security (often referred to as “once saved, always saved“). Some circles of Christianity, for example, might teach one can lose his/her salvation and fall into the error of trying to keep his salvation by personal effort. According to scripture, this is a serious error (Galatians 3:1-3). On the other hand, some circles teach one can never lose his/her salvation, and therefore fall into the error of sinning willfully because he/she believes salvation can’t be lost no matter how much an individual sins. This is also a serious doctrinal error (Hebrews 10:26). Regardless of any denominational or traditional stance surrounding the issue of eternal security, it is obvious from the study of the Bible there are many in this life who will claim to have secure salvation but do not truly know Christ. Sadly, many of these people will have a shocking realization at the end of this life that the security they had in their own salvation was false (Matthew 7:21). Whether that salvation was lost somewhere along life’s journey or whether it was never there in the first place is beside the point. The point is, we are to be pursuing Christ and the promise of His salvation with a complete, total, and relentless pursuit. If we are actively following Christ by faith and our lives reflect a reality of a genuine relationship with God, our salvation is secure.
Differences in Worship / Church Practices
This relates to how a church service should look. This includes but is not limited to - music styles, baptism methods, communion methods, titles for church staff, church membership, and the use of liturgy/readings.
Calvinism vs. Arminianism
Calvinism and Arminianism are two systems of [systematic] theology that attempt to explain the relationship between God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility in the matter of salvation. While these theologies are interesting to study and discuss, arguing, and debating them is unprofitable. The Bible should be our starting and ending point - not the theories and writings of man-made theology.
taken from https://experiencecc.com/im-new/